Benchwarmers 2: Breaking Balls is a 2019 direct-to-video sequel to the 2006 comedy, The Benchwarmers. The original film is backed by the comedic talents of David Spade, Rob Schneider, Jon Heder, Nick Swardson, and Tim Meadows. All of which do not return. The only returning cast member from the original film is Jon Lovitz. Benchwarmers 2 features a relatively unknown cast aside from Lovitz, and the top bill Chris Klein (American Pie).
Benchwarmers 2 Synopsis
Ben McGrath (Klein) is the number one prospect in Minor League baseball. He is approaching his final at bat before surely heading to the big leagues. McGrath has everything going for him, including a beautiful wife and a child on the way. In his last at bat, McGrath is hit by a wild pitch in his balls. Thus the title Breaking Balls.
Flash-forward 10 years later, McGrath is working landscaping and separated from his wife and now 10 year old son. The down on his luck McGrath has just recently passed his Bar Exam to become a lawyer. He is turned down from many firms until he meets Gordon Stenhouse. Gordon is the owner of Stenhouse and Grey, the number one law firm in the city.
Stenhouse offers McGrath a job on the spot. He shows up for his first field assignment, McGrath realizing he is not there for his law skills. Stenhouse is the number one softball team in a citywide league. McGrath is unable to compete due the trauma he suffered a decade ago. Stenhouse fires him.
While drinking away his sorrows, McGrath meets billionaire Mel Carmichael (Lovitz). Mel convinces McGrath to lead his legal team at Schmood and Ass. (yes that is the real title of the law firm). McGrath leads the new legal team under one condition, he also coach their softball, The Benchwarmers. McGrath must rally together this rag-tag group defeat Stenhouse and Grey, both on and off the field.
What I Liked About Benchwarmers 2
This was a tough one to sit through. Now, you might be asking yourself “Why would you watch a sequel to The Benchwarmers?” The answer is I actually enjoyed the first film. Is it a well-crafted piece of cinema that will be studied for generations to come? No. It was, on the other hand a thoroughly enjoyable 90 minute comedy, with plenty of quotable lines.
The original script penned by Nick Swardson and Allen Covert is built around the jokes, rather than an engaging story. Not every film should work this way, but the jokes in the original all landed, for the most part. The script for Benchwarmers 2, on the other hand is not built around clever jokes. Rather a boring melodrama about a small town taken over by a big corporation.
Honestly there isn’t much to like about this film. The only time I got a chuckle out of Benchwarmers 2 was from Jon Lovitz. I’m a fan of Lovitz and some of his bit parts in The Wedding Singer and Big. Here he is given nothing to do besides make a goofy face every couple of scenes.
What Could Have Been Improved With Benchwarmers 2
I can’t believe it but this movie would have been better off in the hands of the Happy Madison crew. As I said, none of the original creative staff behind The Benchwarmers returned for the sequel. The script is written as if it was planned for Rob Schneider’s character Gus to return.
Benchwarmers 2 begins with a middle-aged man as the number one prospect in the minors, a clear path to where Gus could have ended up. In the sequel, McGrath works in landscaping, the SAME business Gus owned in the original. You know your movie is doomed to fail if you can’t even get Rob Schneider to return.
As far is the film goes, it is a lazy attempt to cash in on a low budget sports comedy that came out over a decade ago. The story is nothing groundbreaking. It’s the same in Bad News Bears, The Mighty Ducks, and the original Benchwarmers. Even with a formulaic story, the movie could have been redeemed with some clever jokes.
“I love a good underdog story.”
The jokes in Benchwarmers 2 are borderline offensive. These jokes include stereotypical gay jokes, which lead to no pay off. Those type of jokes did not work in 2006, and they don’t work now. The “comedy” in this film also pokes jabs at the handicapped. It is almost as if this film was trying to be edgy and couldn’t think of a clever way of going about it.
Every character in the film has one distinct characteristic, and nothing more. The main protagonist, Ben McGrath, has no character to him. We know nothing about him besides he was a former baseball star, and is now a lawyer. The direct-to-video format also does not bode well for the film making aspect of Benchwarmers 2. An over use of green screen in normal environments (ex: a car or a neighborhood) takes you out of the picture every single time.
Final Thoughts on Benchwarmers 2
Benchwarmers 2: Breaking Balls is a lazy attempt at cashing in on a relatively forgotten comedy. The movie provides nothing new as either a sports movie or a comedy. Bad writing, directing, acting, and everything in-between create a miserable viewing experience. Benchwarmers 2 should have stuck to the benches on this one.
Overall Score 0.5/5